The one-off interview is a unicorn

One interview isn’t enough to find the perfect design and architecture candidate.

Hiring the right candidate for a design or architecture role requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach. While an interview is a crucial component of the hiring process, relying solely on a single interaction with a candidate may not provide enough information to make an informed decision.

The first interview is an opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills and experience. Still, assessing their soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership, is also essential. These skills can impact a candidate’s ability to work effectively with clients, project teams, and internal stakeholders.

In addition to a traditional interview, other evaluation methods such as case studies, design exercises, or portfolio reviews can provide insight into a candidate’s design thinking and problem-solving skills. However, the process doesn’t end here.


3 Characteristics to Look for in the Perfect Architectural and Design Candidate

As you interview candidates, consider their likelihood of becoming part of your team. In particular, look for:

  1. candidate’s cultural fit with the organization. An interview can provide insight into a candidate’s personality and work style, but more is needed to gauge how they will fit into the company culture. Conduct additional evaluations such as reference checks, work sample evaluations, professional associations or shadowing a current team member to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate.
  2. Rapport with multiple stakeholders in the organization, including the hiring manager, department head, and other team members. By tapping into the valuable insights of various stakeholders, the hiring team can make a more informed decision and minimize the risk of hiring someone who may not be a good fit for the role or the company culture.
  3. complete picture of a candidate’s abilities and strength For example, a candidate may perform well in an interview but struggle with job responsibilities. Having them try out or talk through a task they would be in charge of can be very insightful.

Alternatively, you can ask one critical interview question that will reveal what you must know before hiring anyone: “What skill do you possess that will most impact our bottom line?”


The Occasional Exception to the Rule

Unicorns exist.

Although one interview rarely provides insight into a candidate’s capabilities and fit for your firm, there have been instances when a firm owner or hiring manager feels compelled to make an offer immediately. When interviewing architecture candidates, these leaders look for data and growth potential. They measure their findings against the likelihood of getting past any shortcomings.

Generally speaking, one interview is not enough to find the perfect design and architecture candidate.

Hiring the right candidate requires a comprehensive evaluation process that includes multiple interviews, work sample evaluations, reference checks, and cultural fit assessments. A holistic interviewing approach can help the hiring team make an informed decision regarding your firm’s newest candidate.

Contact us to learn more about how to interview well.